My Tips for kitesurfing flash photography
It’s no secret that I love shooting kitesurfing flash photography. I only shoot off-camera flash with triggers (more on that later). Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen some incredible kite images created with flashes. Here are my tips:
- You don’t need to have crazy expensive housings for your flashes or your camera for that matter. More on DiCAPac plastic housings here. I still use Ziploc bags and plastic containers for my flashes (always make sure you’ve waterproofed them before you hit the surf!). I have been able to use the same bags for a handful of shoots before I recycle them. I use 2 bags per flash. To be extra safe, you could also use duct tape to completely seal the zip of the bag.
- If you’re still new to flash photography, make sure you adjust your settings before you go out into the water. It can be quite difficult to make adjustments to the flashes and triggers (I use PocketWizards, which I find have the least miss-fires whilst we’re shooting) and camera settings whilst out in the water.
- Find a ‘flash bitch’ (a buddy that doesn’t mind coming out into the water with you to act as a human flash stand). Chat to them first about exactly where you want them to be and how to angle the flash. You’ll need to keep communicating with them during the shoot as you’ll see which flash angles will work the best for the current light and conditions.
- Sketch out an idea in your mind or on paper of what trick you want the rider to do and how near or close you need the flash to be. This helps your flash buddy to get a better idea of their part in the shoot.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment. Gels are a great way to add something different by means of colour to your shots.
*Remember, the water can be a great source of bounce light and reflection.
Have you been shooting any water or kitesurfing photography with flashes or? What have been your experiences?